rant

To Be Human Is A Powerful, Profound Thing That Deserves A Lot Of Patience.

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This sweet card was made by my even sweeter five year old student. Did you lovely people have a memorable Mother’s Day? This year I decided not to make a big Facebook announcement for my mama, instead I wrote this (incase you and I aren’t Facebook friends):

I don’t want to post a generic message about how I love my mum and how lucky I am to have her (which I do and which I am) this Mother’s Day. Instead, I want to acknowledge all of my friends who either live far away from their mothers (I know from first-hand experience how hard that is) and those whose mothers are no longer with us. I wish you calmness and strength <3
Image (3)Mum’s breakfast at Untouched World – a lovely modern cafe with high-quality ingredients and a romantic fire.
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Absolutely in love with my Dr. Seuss preschool teacher uniforms because I absolutely love him! Who is/was your favourite childhood author? (A question posed to me by Soroosh the other day to which I actually replied Paul Jennings).
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Kids say write the darndest things!
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“Stained glass” butterflies made with black cardboard paper, coloured tissue paper and pipe cleaners. Super easy, are instructions needed?
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New favourite CHCH eatery! This $12 split pea soup (topped with caramelised onions) served alongside Bellbird bread and carrot butter from Gatherings was 10/10.

Use The Power Of Intent To Clear A Path For Yourself

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As you may have heard, NZ received a lot of rain as of late. My prayers and sympathetic thoughts to those whose lives were greatly affected. Fortunately for us, our household just further glimmered. My parents and I spent even more time than usual together and I made “healthy” French toast for them. It’s actually very simple! For the three of us, I soaked 6 pieces of gluten free bread in a beaten mixture of 3 free-ranges, 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, and 1 tsp cinnamon, then fried them in a hot pan with a little coconut oil until nice and golden. Last, I topped them with fresh fruit, honey, and plain yoghurt (not pictured). Image-1 (1)
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Never enough herbs in a Persian woman’s garden.
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Can you see what I see? On the last day of term, we made an Easter egg hunt for the little munchkins. Image (12)Image (13)
And… one for the big munchkin who really shouldn’t be having one in the first place.
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Another day, another green smoothie. These are also super easy to make. Simply blitz together in a high-powered blender: 2 frozen bananas (frozen bananas make your smoothies colder and creamier), 2 large handfuls of spinach (stalks and all), a big dollop of natural yoghurt, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Top with favourites.
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I found out the hard way that jandals were not appropriate wear for yesterday’s Saturday Farmers’ Market. As I walked into a muddy puddle and splashed gunk all over myself, I overheard a father telling his little girl not to worry about getting dirty as she, in her pink gumboots, was appropriately dressed – I couldn’t help but take his comment as a personal dig to my existence.
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Giant delicious organic apple from the organic apple people at the Saturday Farmers’ Market (sorry I don’t know your company name). Image (8)
For as long as I have been coming to Sumner, I have been in mad-love with that itsy bitsy yellow house bursting with character. I sent this photo to Soroosh expressing this, and he replies: “I like the modern house next to it.” BLAH Image (1)
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Almost finished writing back to my Japanese students ^.^
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Mojgan joon, I wish you were here to accompany me on my walking adventures. Alas, I think of you always – the coming Autumn leaves further remind me of my unforgettable time with your beautiful family in beautiful Nashville. Image-1 (6)
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Last but not least, a picture sent to me by my dear mentor and friend. AKA Soroosh’s father. Guys, I am so impressed and inspired by him. Rick is a man of so many talents. But most of all, he is joyful, he is understanding, and he is compassionate. Also, big-ups for food-presentation and food-photography, and your recently written article HERE.

Is Someone Getting The Best Of You?

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I had the loveliest Saturday with my also lovely friend, Sam last weekend. We went to the Saturday Farmers’ Market for a Posh Porridge breakfast but when we saw that they weren’t there and on holiday, we had Bacon Brothers instead. Yep, I ate bacon. And not just any bacon but NZ bacon in say over 4 years of not having eaten it and oh my was it delicious. And, I’m not kidding you, I was full for 1.5 days. Rick, I can’t wait for you to try it. NZ bacon > American bacon.
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Super easy Easter crafts. Top, chooks made with pom-poms and egg cartons. Bottom, a carrot made with an empty yarn cone donated by a student’s thoughtful mother. Image (2)Image (3)
Sorry mom, forgot to move the towels (again). #PUGLIFE
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Making tissue paper flowers for the upcoming Ridvan celebration at Bahai Children’s Classes.
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“What we learn with pleasure we never forget.” ~Alfred MercierImage (1)
Below, what I sent S for his birthday (ie. a present also for myself): a Sydney weekend getaway! EEEE we are so blessed. And how about you my dear followers? Is someone getting the best of you?
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Making Great Art Is About Being More Of Who You Are

Sorry my last post was a whiny one. I’m quite good at that, whining. So much so that my primary school teacher, my Payne, told me, as I whinged my way through the wet mud on school camp, that he’d never met someone so complaining and impatient before. Though in my defence (and his) the same teacher gave me the class diligence award at the end of the year. So, I am complaining but I am persistent, too. Yes, a woman of many qualities. Alas, don’t you think I have good reason to complain? Harry seems to think so. You know, Harry from When Harry Met Sally? He takes the words straight out of my mouth when in his epic declaration of love he says: “when you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”Image-2
So, I keep busy…Image (1)
I bakeImage-1
I shop.
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I work.
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And I work some more (watching Japanese movies for my next Savvy article).
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And I reassure myself that this too shall pass. For almost one year has passed since mummy and daddy came to visit me in rural Japan where my life was so very different to what it is today.
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Trying their first ramen. image79
Enjoying sakura (cherry blossom) season. Aimage123
And watching their daughter imitate Mimasaka’s best sushi chef.
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I’m Ashamed At How Many Times I Do It

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I’m ashamed at how many times i do it
in between mouthfuls of muesli
in between ad breaks
on my smoko
on the toilet
and each time I’m left disappointed
yet i go ahead
and do it again
http://www.cheapflights.co.nz
just joking
tricked ya!
we’re actually f’n expensive
you can’t see him
you can’t afford it
I thought it would get easier
like when I’d start working
I’d become busy
and I wouldn’t miss him
or at least, not in this way
don’t worry, Anisa
just be patient
things will get easier
turns out
things get horrendous
okay, maybe not horrendous
I mean, my family isn’t sick
and my boss isn’t a dick
I’m not an unappreciative girl.
just that,
none of that changes
the fact of the matter
the fact of the matter
that i’m stationed here
and he’s stationed there
RA RA RA
welcome
to
my
frustrated
stream
of
consciousness.  

Be Patient Towards All That Is Unsolved In Your Heart. Learn To Love the Questions Themselves.

I’ve had some pretty memorable Valentine’s Days. For my very first V day, I received a giant Winnie The Pooh from my very first boyfriend. I was 12. When we broke up, three months into the relationship (lol), I gifted Winnie to my best-friend’s sister. Almost a year later, when I felt my teenage heart had finally recovered, I desperately wanted the giant Pooh back. He was so big, so expensive but I didn’t have the nerve to ask my best-friend nor her sister.

For the next 5 Valentine’s Days, I received a single red rose from a “secret” admirer. On the 5th year, I caught my dad placing a red rose on our front door step. What a dude! I was both angry and appreciative.

Then there were the two Valentine’s Day’s with my ex – I guess he was my first “real” boyfriend because I actually loved him. Both years I posted pictures of his flowers and his red velvet boxed chocolates on my social media pages. I was so in love! I was the luckiest girl eva! That is until I wasn’t. The next couple V day’s I struggled seeing my friends’ flowers, chocolates, bracelets and other puke-inducing surprises. Bunch of F’in bullshit, I said. So I wrote a blogpost about it. I talked about the destructive affects of our Facebook and Instagram pages and how we all know that our friends only post their happy creme de la creme moments – we know this because we do the exact same – but even with this knowledge, we can’t help but to compare our lives to theirs. I questioned why we as a society feel the urge to publicise our significant others’ romantic gesture.  As if these precious occasions, these special moments would lose their significance if they are not “shared”. I ended my rant with the realisation that it should really be the opposite. That our rarest, most unique and intimate moments should be unpublished. Solely reserved to be shared (as in real life shared not FB shared) and treasured between us and our significant other.

Four months later, I was introduced to the love of my life on the internet. We were/still are messaging every day (but I’ve finally met him, he’s not an imaginary friend!). Soroosh had become a fan of my blog and a frequent commenter. One day he asked me if I’ve ever experienced a unique moment that I haven’t documented? One that I’ve kept sacred just for my self. It got me thinking. It reminded me of that post I wrote on V day. Who was this guy with the profound questions? So I set out on a mission, I went for a walk without my camera and then I wrote THIS. Seven months later, he continues to inspire my day to day. So, before I get too soppy and start contradicting myself, I just want to say that love and happiness or whatever it is your heart desires, is out there. We just gotta be a little more patient. We ought to learn to love the questions themselves. It’ll happen.
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Speaking of lurve, it was my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary the other day. Speaking of anniversary’s, on Sunday I sold ice-cream to a lady on her 50th wedding anniversary day. She said she and her husband married at 17. “What’s your secret?” I asked. She said, deep breaths!
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This gorgeous butterfly is my Valentine’s Day present for this year. I’m not bragging about it because I don’t even have it yet. Soroosh is going to safely transport it with him when he moves to NZ. It is a dried Peruvian butterfly in a simple frame. I think the wings look like different galaxies in space.
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Another note on singledom, I remember complaining to my sister, pre-Soroosh stage when she said, you shouldn’t reserve your love for one person. Why don’t you show all this love you talk about to your family and friends instead? So I had a lovely picnic with my mother yesterday. We drank coffee, we read and we ate cake. All in our tiny backyard, too. The chocolate and raspberry mousse cake is from Le Panier.
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“I am all the time thinking about poetry and fiction and you.” (Virginia Woolf) Yes, you!

This Is How You Get Unstuck: You Reach.

image-3“You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest, and most beautiful person I have ever known—and even that is an understatement.” (F. Scott Fitzgerald) Friends, I find nothing more romantic than these letters. I could easily quote these lovers for the remainder of this post but I’ll resist. A side note: often when I take such photos of my breakfast and things on this decaying picnic table in our backyard, my tootsies make an appearance forcing me to impatiently start over, this time standing in the most awkwardly unnatural position so as to hide them. image-9
Speaking of F. Scott and Zelda, four months ago, I had the absolute pleasure of visiting Hotel Belle Rives where the couple stayed in the year 1925. Unable to speak French and unaware of Antibes’ transportation systems, I decided to walk there from my accommodation. An hour later, I arrived sweaty and in my gym gear. To my surprise, I was welcomed by the gentleman porter with such hospitality as if I were Zelda herself!  This left me speechless. In a dream-like state, I walked around the bar, snapped a couple pictures and vowed to return again before my stay in Antibes was over.
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Once back at my accommodation, I emailed the General Manager, expressing my gratitude to the incredibly hospitable porter. He, Lucas, replied by inviting me and a friend back for coffee, croissants and a private tour of the establishment. I don’t know if it was the ambience or what, but here Anita’s mom and I drank the best coffee we’ve ever drank ever.
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The photo above and the photo below are of the views from the hotel’s best room (unbelievably dare in the summer). Lovely Lucas said I could honeymoon there on mate’s rates. I wonder if he’d also cover my plane ticket? (hehe).
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Back to reality (below) which is pretty darn good with no room for complaints: I helped and will continue to help for the long weekend, my beautiful friend Mandy sell her handmade ice-cream and sorbets. It was a dream job and nothing less.
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Some beetroot salad and avocado before eating sorry I mean selling ice-cream. image-4
“All these soft, warm nights going to waste when I ought to be lying in your arms under the moon – the dearest arms in all the world – darling arms that I love so to feel around me – How much longer – before they’ll be there to stay? When I get home again, you’ll certainly have a most awful time ever moving me one inch from you -”
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Sea salt caramel and popcorn, vanilla bean, blueberry, mint, Greek yoghurt and cherry compote, peach and lemon sorbet (vegan), rhubarb and strawberry sorbet (vegan), coconut keffir raspberry (vegan), coconut and dark chocolate (vegan). image-5
Bliss.#UtopiaIce

How Rich Is Too Rich?

In addition to epic views, mouth-watering food and sweet romance, the coast is well-known for $$$

Each to their own, but I personally couldn’t be happy having anything to do with such wealth. For example, the cruise ships. Wether it be owning one, riding one or working for one, to me it seems immoral. I know, I know, I’m making big calls. The way I see it, in a world where literally multitudes are going without, how can one enjoy such excessive (and that’s the key word here) fortune? Even if every penny is earned cash. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying I am perfect nor anywhere remotely close it, I just think, it’d be nice if everyone had just enough and that’s all. Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
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Manifest plainness,
Embrace simplicity,
Reduce selfishness,
Have few desires.
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That same night, I wrote my first short story. It took me thirty minutes. It was a dark little tale about a man who found a magic cup and learned that if he wept into the cup, his tears turned into pearls. But even though he had always been poor, he was a happy man and rarely shed a tear. So he found ways to make himself sad so that his tears could make him rich. As the pearls piled up, so did his greed grow. The story ended with the man sitting on a mountain of pearls, knife in hand, weeping helplessly into the cup with his beloved wife’s slain body in his arms. (Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner)
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset(Room rates for 5 star Hotel Negresco in Nice.)

Too Much Perfection Is A Mistake

Sometimes the people who give contrary advice to your life’s calling aren’t always doing it in a menacing way. I just came off a Skype call with my mama where she spent a good 30 min advising me to blog less. She said, blogging should be done in moderation, that it shouldn’t take away from the now and that some things, some special things should be kept secret. To all of which, I concur.

Now, my mama, she’s my number one fan. She’s always wanted the very best for me so I know that she meant well. But, I like to think that my blog is different to the average travel bloggers (see here). This is because, I’m open about my financial problems, my weight problems, my homesickness, my singledom, my worries and my stresses as well as my joys and triumphs. Further, I write because it’s my passion. It’s what I love to do more than I love myself. To blog or to be continuously active on social-media with the sole intent of constructing some fake image, I couldn’t loathe more even if I wanted. But what I’m trying to do and I hope I have achieved thus far to some extent is to share my truth in order to inspire others. As I’ve said, time and time again, traveling solo isn’t easy, mingling with opposite cultures and living and breathing different climates doesn’t come with an instagram filter. It isn’t a piece of cake (or a bowl of ramen). It is what it is and I hope to share it. Too much perfection is a mistake.
image-26.jpgPS she means “natural”.

Make A List

If you haven’t heard of Dallas Clayton, you’re missing out (big time!) so please check him out here right NOW!

Welcome back! Isn’t he an unfairly talented guy? To me, he is a huge inspiration. I only wish to inspire like he does. Last night, when I was pondering my new found smile, I came across Clayton’s latest work of art:
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How could I have missed something so simple? I mean, I was trying my best to live a good life, the countryside was so beautiful. I’d started new hobbies including cycling and yoga and made unexpected friends like this ojichan (old man) and yasu. But that didn’t mean I was actively engaging in activities I knew I loved. I know this sounds vain, I really do, but in this city, I am happy because I am filling my day with activities I know that I like. I am exercising (not sitting on my bottom for 8 hours straight in a suffocating room), walking walking walking (not driving for one hour to get groceries, alone), eating healthy, dressing pretty, writing in artsy cafes, appreciating diversity, purchasing freshly-made green smoothies and enjoying the odd glance from a boy. My new life makes me feel alive and it makes me feel young!

So how about you? What makes you happy? Painting? Drawing? The ocean? Cooking? Dining out? Road-trips? Building Lego? Dancing to the Beatles? Collecting fruit-stamps, watching old movies?

Are you doing it? Could you be doing it more?
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